A First Species for Me.

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A First Species for Me.

Postby RowdyGSP » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:55 am

Since moving to North Idaho back in July, I have definitely fallen in love with the country up here. However, "making a living" as a waterfowler in this part of the country can be really tough. Not that there aren't good bird numbers, but that they drop the water level through the dam so drastically after the first week or two of the season opener, that it leaves up to 100 yards of exposed mud flat on the rivers and lake around here. The nearest cover from the water's edge can be up to 100 yards away. Meaning that if you set up, you tend to stick out like a sore thumb. Once the snow comes back it should be a little easier to hide, with a white blanket and white outer layers. However until that time comes, us waterfowlers are stuck, working hard to find some pockets of decent water to hunt that isn't too far from the nearest natural cover. So yesterday, my buddy from work and I spent the morning and early afternoon driving around scouting spots to hunt that had birds and were near cover. It paid off. We found three solid spots where a guy could set up and be able to hide adequately. One spot there was a bunch of boulders on edge of a railroad where we could hide behind the boulders and birds were using the water there. Another spot was out on a sandy point, where a guy could dig a hole in the sand and put some brush around the hole to sit in. The last spot we found was in a piece of state land and there is an old cement foundation from a building where a guy could sit in and be concealed. The birds we found were right next to the foundation on the water, so we decided to set up there for 45 minutes or so, before heading back home. It paid off. After we set up, birds started moving back in. We both missed a 40 yard shot on some honkers that were flying by. Then a redhead and a bluebill decoyed to our spread. I shot the redhead (my first redhead ever, in 17 years of duck hunting), while my buddy shot the drake bluebill. A few minutes later a flight of 6 mallards came to take a look at the decoys. We each pulled a greenhead out of the flight. Some green wing teal decided to rocket by, right over the decoys and we both whiffed them. Right before we pulled the decoys to head home, a single hen wigeon came in and cupped her wings. My buddy knocked her down and Rowdy went out for the retrieve. So now that we have found some decent spots to set up, we will be back at one of those spots this weekend. I was very excited to shoot my first redhead. They are a gorgeous duck. My strap was red and green, just in time for Christmas.

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Re: A First Species for Me.

Postby Deuce » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:16 pm

Nice work Rowdy!
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Re: A First Species for Me.

Postby mtlhdr » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:34 pm

Very cool. I have a buddy who traveled to ID specifically for redheads. Good on you guys!
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Re: A First Species for Me.

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:17 pm

Cool!
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Re: A First Species for Me.

Postby JTracyII » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:10 pm

Shot my first Redhead last week as well. They are nice looking birds indeed. Good work!
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Re: A First Species for Me.

Postby RowdyGSP » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:13 am

JTracyII wrote:Shot my first Redhead last week as well. They are nice looking birds indeed. Good work!


Being as it's my first one I would have mounted it, if it wouldn't have been shot in the neck with #2 shot and bled profusely everywhere. Never seen a duck bleed like that.
"You have to be smarter than the dog to train it."
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"Semper Fi" HQ/11th
"Chukar: The first time you hunt them it's for sport. After that it's revenge."
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Re: A First Species for Me.

Postby orhunter » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:39 am

Cool, get it mounted.

I always enjoy driving up the Columbia Gorge and seeing all the different species. Red Head is one of the rarest. Haven’t seen more than a half dozen of them over the years. Bluebills are probably the most common.
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Re: A First Species for Me.

Postby Deacon » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:48 am

One of the great things about waterfowl hunting is not knowing what will show up. Redheads stage on our Finger Lakes by the thousands in January, if the weather is cold enough. It is a real privilege to be able to hunt them. It always involves the absolute worse weather of the year which makes the memories twice as memorable. By far my favorite hunting of the year. I wouldn't know what to do if I moved to Florida and got to shoot them in a t-shirt!

maxredhead.jpg

dehaan ducks.jpg
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Re: A First Species for Me.

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:01 pm

They come through the western edge of the Mississippi flyway and Central Flyway where I hunt, fairly often. My first GWP Hank and I took this drake hunting a wind swept Corp lake in central KS many years ago. The mount has held up pretty well and I recall the hunt with Hank vividly each time I look at it. Image
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Re: A First Species for Me.

Postby jarbo03 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:37 am

Very nice. I love the way big groups of redheads work the decoys.
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